Equipment delays threatening UK military capability

The governmentโ€™s spending watchdog warned on last Wednesday that the fighting capability of Britainโ€™s armed forces stands in increasing risk by delays in producing essential new pieces of equipment. Delays have been registered in various projects including the F-35 fighter jet, offshore patrol vessels and battlefield communication systems.

A report by National Audit Office (NAO) found that on the 32 militaryโ€™s most important projects, a third is behind schedule.

National Audit Office headquarters, London, UK (by David Pearson)

The report says that the new equipment is on average more than two years late before it can be at full operating capability.

According to the report, this means that delays on such projects will lead to overuse of existing assets and increase costs.

The NAOโ€™s conclusions come after the annoucement of Prime minister Boris Johnson of a review of Britainโ€™s defense and security strategy, including a focus on military procurement. It seems, according to the NAO report, that a persistent problem is delivery of the equipment either late or faulty by suppliers.

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